Life Library — Procreation

Life Ministry   •   The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod

  • A Review of Reproductive Technologies — Because reproductive ethics is a little known quantity for the average person the following is offered as a simple guide for discussion and consideration in personal decision making. Topics include assisting procreation, artificial insemination, in vitro fertilization, and surrogate motherhood.

  • Be Fruitful and Multiply (by Lucas Woodford) — God’s first command to humanity is, “Be fruitful and multiply” (Gen. 1:28). It’s a command not only to reproduce children but to reproduce families.

  • Be Fruitful and Multiply (by William M. Cwirla) — While all creatures are driven by the creative impulse to “be fruitful and multiply,” man uniquely does this within a narrow context of intimacy, commitment, covenant, and community.

  • Children’s Children and the Plans of God — God wants a large family because His love is so enormous. We embrace God’s gift of life and of children, and we praise God that He creates and loves so many, including us.

  • Hannahs in the Pew — She was overwhelmed with grief and sorrow. Her husband loved her, but still she felt cursed by God. Indeed, she felt that ancient curse spoken over the first woman: “I will greatly multiply your sorrow and your conception; in pain you shall bring forth children” (Gen. 3:16). Who is this woman? These words describe Hannah, but many other Hannahs sit in the pews of our churches — empty, sad, and bearing with bitterness the curse in their bodies.

  • In Vitro Fertilization: Moral or Immoral? — Some moral issues involved with in vitro fertilization are the dilemma of leftover embryos, the loss of embryos that do not implant, the unmarried woman seeking pregnancy, the use of donor sperm or egg and, perhaps most importantly, the increasing separation of the biological from the relational inherent in reproductive technologies.

  • Not Alone — To our brothers and sisters who long to be parents: You are not alone. Not only are others like you — wanting children to serve and love, to cry and laugh with — but also Mary’s Son. Jesus bears this burden with you.

  • Reproductive Ethics: A Summary — We need to distinguish the critique of reproductive technologies from a criticism of people we may know who have made use of them. This information is offered to Christian couples to help them think about the possible use of reproductive technologies.

  • Resolution 6-10: Guidance on Contraceptive Methods — The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod’s Sanctity of Human Life Committee offers this document in response to Resolution 6-10 placed before the Synod’s 2004 convention.

  • Saved Through Childbearing? — There I sat in Sunday School, paging through my Bible like the saintly child I was, when I tripped on this: “Yet [women] will be saved through childbearing — if they continue in faith and love and holiness, with self-control” (1 Tim. 2:15).

  • Surrogate Motherhood: A Clerical Case — The whole point of marriage as a paradigm of God’s relationship with His people is to illustrate the oneness of what we are given in marriage and in the gift of a child as its outcome. Careless sentimentality in reproductive ethics erases this message of God to us.

  • The Child As a Gift of God — Commended by the 2019 LCMS convention, this paper examines the many subtle ways that American culture rejects life as a fundamental gift of God and instead sees “having a baby” as a human accomplishment.

  • The Gift Not Given — This state of barrenness is our reality, and it is painful. Yet, ceaselessly, God gives gifts. He reminds of His sufficient grace.

  • The Mystery of Marriage — This article is a summary of the theology of marriage that can serve as a foundation for evaluating the implications of reproductive technologies from a Christian perspective.

  • What About Embryo Adoption? — He is a child. One sperm fertilizes one egg in a petri dish, and a human life begins. He has 23 pairs of chromosomes. He has his own genetic traits and family history. He is a human being for whom Jesus Christ died, just like you and me. He is a gift to his parents from the Lord. “Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward” (Ps. 127:3).

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